Olympian shares in a video how cellulite is normal on the female body and nothing to feel belittled about.
Body-shaming unfortunately, has become a rude reality of present-day society. Especially in the case of women every time they find themselves in the public sphere. In such spaces, they have to face a lot of uninvited commentary on their bodies. It has a negative impact on the mental health of individuals. As per the Mental Health Foundation, 35% of adults reported feeling depressed due to body shaming. Ilona Maher—who goes by @ilonamaher on TikTok—aims to remove misconceptions about the female body and make women feel more confident about their 'imperfections.' In a recently viral video, she is talking about cellulite. Cellulite is a harmless skin condition that leads to lumpy, dimpled flesh on the thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen, per Mayo Clinic.
Maher is a rugby star and has represented Team USA in the 2020 Olympics. The Olympian began the video by sharing a common statement she has heard people around her say: "I can't believe I have cellulite. It's so gross and natural." She wanted people to focus on the word "natural." Women work themselves to the bone all their lives, trying to remove something that is a natural occurrence. It does not happen because of someone's fault, but due to body metabolism and physiology. It is God-given and nothing provided by God is shameful.
Maher revealed a picture of herself playing rugby. Thereafter, she pointed out her cellulite in the picture. The athlete added, "Okay, that's my leg. This is my leg from a past rugby tournament. I am a literal Olympian. I'm a professional athlete. I run all day long. I lift weights all day long, constantly. And that is what my legs look like." A popular misconception about cellulite is that it occurs in unfit people. She breaks down this assertion by giving her example. As a rugby player, she needs to run every day and keep her health in check. Despite taking care of her body through exercise, she still had visible cellulite on her legs.
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Maher goes on to elucidate, "I have cellulite everywhere. It is completely normal, completely natural. It does not take away from your athletic ability or how fast or how fit you are." She asserted that they were natural. It is no one's fault when it appears on someone's body. Therefore, the anxiety induced in women due to these marks is unwarranted. The conversation should change from regarding these marks as "imperfections" to "natural."
The comment section applauded the Olympian for this message. @gamdiane shared her horrible experience with cellulite and wrote, "All the love to you! The first person to tell me about cellulite pointed to mine, saying she could tell I never exercised. I was destroyed." @brightpeachlight commented about the importance of the message, "You have no idea how much hearing this means. It doesn’t take away from how beautiful you are. And you are stunning." @mdids_ wished she heard this message when she was young and wrote, "I wish I saw this when I was younger when a coach told me my thighs took away from my skills. I was 15 with a six-pack."
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